Author Archive

Grief and Transformation in Han Kang’s The White Book

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Over the course of the fragmented, deeply imagistic book (which Kang has described as a narrative poem), whiteness expands beyond solid objects into concepts and sensations, its every iteration part of an adjacent world in which her sister is not dead and it is she, instead, who is absent.

Lizzie Borden in Angela Carter and Sarah Schmidt

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In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. The prime suspect was Andrew’s daughter Lizzie. The murders have since been mythologized in a heady mix of rumor and conjecture; poisoned milk and madness-inducing menstrual cycles are but two of the incongruous details.

Transcribing the Self

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What is the role of the literary arts when the self is at its most porous? At moments of corporeal and emotional transition, how does writing entwine with acts of recovery and transformation?

Detachment in Fiction from Fleur Jaeggy and Jean Genet

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Fleur Jaeggy’s fiction works, two short novels and two short story collections, are marked with a quiet violence and a very particular brand of detachment.

Elena Ferrante & the Condition of a Woman’s Body

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In corporeal and metaphysical terms, Ferrante’s girls and women are made porous and penetrable, pervious and vulnerable, in ways that raise questions regarding the contemporary status of a woman’s body, and the modes of resistance we might fashion in changing its position.

The Shape of Desire

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When confronted with relentless male longing, there is nothing so spectacular about female flesh: human or animal, it answers to the same name.

Poetic Counterpoints: Emmanuelle Guattari’s I, Little Asylum

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In I, Little Asylum, Emmanuelle Guattari reflects on her childhood at La Borde, an experimental psychiatric clinic founded in 1951 in the Loire Valley, France. Are the textures of this novel cum memoir particular to its setting? Can we detect in the book’s rhythm and style anything that directly

Abiding Cruelty in Marianne Fritz’s The Weight of Things

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Translated from German into English in 2015, Austrian author Marianne Fritz’s The Weight of Things presents domesticity and motherhood as intolerable, even unbearable, in the aftermath of the Second World War.

The End of January: Suicide and Rape in Nothing Holds Back the Night

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Having discovered her mother’s body several days after her suicide, Delphine de Vigan is moved to write not only her own recollections of her mother, but to graft a whole context for a woman who repeatedly came together and apart in Nothing Holds Back the Night.

Expired Futures in Ali Smith’s Autumn

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Written in the immediate aftermath of Brexit, Ali Smith’s Autumn questions how ripping up common ground in favour of enhanced borders reverberates through time and into living human bodies.